Aboriginal ERAC Approved Titles

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A Mercy
Author: Toni Morrison
Format: Paperback
  • A powerful tragedy distilled into a small masterpiece by the Nobel Prize-winning author of Beloved and, almost like a prelude to that story, set two centuries earlier.

    Jacob is an Anglo-Dutch trader in 1680s United States, when the slave trade is still in its infancy. Reluctantly he takes a small slave girl in part payment from a plantation owner for a bad debt. Feeling rejected by her slave mother, 14-year-old Florens can read and write and might be useful on his farm. Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master's house, but later from the handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved, who comes riding into their lives . . .

    At the novel's heart, like Beloved, it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother and a daughter – a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.

$21.00

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Above the Falls
Author: John Harris
Format: Paperback
  • In May 1936, George Dalziel flew far up the Nahanni River to check on Bill Eppler and Joe Mulholland, who were working one of his traplines. He found their cabin burned to the ground and no sign of them anywhere. What had happened to the healthy young men? Had there been an accident, or was a killer on the loose? Dalziel, known as "The Flying Trapper," had a successful trapping operation along the Flat, South Nahanni and Liard rivers. Using his small airplane to locate areas rich in marten and beaver, he would leave his men in this wild country and drop in from time to time to check on them and fly out the pelts. The authorities wanted to shut Dal down. So when he saw the burned-down cabin, he knew he was in trouble.In this suspenseful, fact-based novel, John Harris uses police reports and the testimony of local trappers to paint a vivid picture of a gripping winter chase, an unsolved mystery and a now-vanished lifestyle.

$18.95

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Bella Coola Man
Format: Paperback
  • When Clayton Mack was a child, his parents wrapped him in wolf skin and dumped him in water four times so he would grow up strong and fierce in the woods like a wolf. True to this Nuxalk tradition, Mack grew up to be a world-famous grizzly bear hunter and guide.
    Clayton Mack''s first book of amazing tales about bears and q''umsciwas (white men), "Grizzlies and White Guys," became an instant best seller when it was published in 1993. In "Bella Coola Man," Clayton Mack continues his hair-raising stories about pulling bears out of the bushes by their legs, eating fresh bear meat with Thor Heyerdahl, finding gold nuggets in the bush, murder in the Big Ootsa country and dead men's talking beans, plus Crooked Jaw the Indian agent and where to find good fishing.
    Clayton Mack was a walking encyclopedia of tribal lore, and one of the best storytellers ever born. The stories in "Bella Coola Man" are the last he told, and reflect his desire to pass on as much information about Nuxalk life and legends as he could before his death. Hear about the man-eater dance performed at River's Inlet where the dancers ate a dead woman's head, or about the last Indian war on the coast, native remedies like devil's club tea which is "good for anything," Alexander Mackenzie''s travels through Bella Coola country along the Grease Trail, how native hunters killed mountain goats by prying them off cliffs with sticks, and about forgotten villages and places, which come alive again through Clayton Mack''s words.
    Clayton Mack had a deep understanding and appreciation of life on British Columbia''s rugged coast. His stories are unique lessons in history, as well as pure entertainment. Here are the stories of the legend himself, Clayton Mack.

$24.95

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Bone Dance
Author: Martha Brooks
Format: Paperback
  • "Life is full of surprises, and sometimes the good and the bad get all bunched up together." Alexandra's beloved grandfather said this often. But nothing could have prepared her for the death of her father, a man she never knew and his legacy, a cabin on prairie land near an ancient Native American burial ground. It is at the cabin that she meets Lonny, who seems more troubled than Alexandra. Lonny''s stepfather had once owned that very same cabin and land and always wanted it to go to Lonny. But Lonny, tormented by guilty memories and disturbing visions, refused to take it. Who would have thought it would it end up in the hands of a city girl like Alexandra? He tries not to like her, but is drawn to her nevertheless.
    As their story unfolds, Lonny and Alex are haunted and guided by spirits that draw them to the land and to each other in this moving and tender tale about two unforgettable teens.

$8.95

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Broken Ground
Author: Jack Hodgins
Format: Paperback
  • Broken Ground is a riveting exploration of the dark, brooding presence of the First World War in the lives of the inhabitants of a "soldier's settlement" on Vancouver Island. From out of a stubborn, desolate landscape studded with tree stumps, the settlers of Portuguese Creek have built a new life for themselves. But when an encroaching forest fire threatens this fledgling settlement, it also intensifies the remembered horrors of war. The story of Portuguese Creek is told by several of its citizens, including a boy trying to recover from the sudden loss of his father, and a former teacher haunted by what happened to the soldiers he led in France. With a memorable cast of characters, and by turns heart-rending and tragic, humorous and humane, Broken Ground is a powerful novel that immerses us in the lives of an entire community.

$22.99

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Cloud of Bone
Author: Bernice Morgan
Format: Paperback
  • From the bestselling author of Random Passage and Waiting for Time comes this masterful, engrossing story of the last surviving Beothuk, a World War II deserter and a recently widowed English woman at the end of the twentieth century.

    During World War II, well into the Battle of the North Atlantic, Newfoundlander Kyle Holloway deserts from the Royal Navy. Now, hidden in a cave below St. Mary's Church, the war-haunted young man remembers years of carefree friendship and petty crime in the narrow streets of St. John's. Starving, disoriented and tormented by his own act of betrayal, Kyle hears a low, persistent murmuring, retelling a story of distant, far-reaching betrayals.

    Over a century earlier, Shanawdithit, a young Beothuk girl, spends her childhood in a place she thinks of as the safe centre of the world. As she grows into young womanhood, listening to stories, sharing secrets with friends and falling in love, she slowly becomes aware that Dogmen are taking over her world. Each season, her people are forced farther inland, away from their own hunting grounds, back from the rich seal beaches. Now the only witness that the Beothuk once walked the earth, Shanawdithit is forced to endlessly repeat the story of her doomed people.

    In 1998, Judith and Ian Muir are in Rwanda as part of the United Nations team investigating a genocide site. A shot rings out and Ian falls dead. Overwhelmed with grief, his widow returns to England and the abandoned cottage where she grew up. There, an unusual discovery takes Judith on a quest that will inextricably connect her life to the lives of Shanawdithit and Kyle Holloway. In Cloud of Bone, three stories come together to make both an intriguing mystery and a meditation on lost innocence, brutality and the power of memory.

$19.95

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Half Breed
Author: Maria Campbell
Format: Paperback
  • Maria Cambpell's biography is a classic, vital account of a young Metis woman's struggle to come to terms with the joys, sorrows, loves and tragedies of her northern Saskatchewan childhood.

    Maria was a strong and sensitive child who lived in a community robbed of its pride and dignity by the dominant culture. At 15 she tried in vain to escape by marrying a white man, only to find herself trapped in the slums of Vancouver; addicted to drugs, tempted by suicide, close to death. But the inspiration of her Cree great-grandmother, Cheechum, gives her confidence in herself and in her people, confidence she needs to survive and to thrive.

    Half-Breed offers an unparalleled understanding of the Metis people and of the racism and hatred they face. Maria Campbell's story cannot be denied and it cannot be forgotten: it stands as a challenge to all Canadians who believe in human rights and human dignity

$14.95

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Louis Riel A Comic Strip Biography
Author: Chester Brown
Format: Paperback
  • The bestselling graphic novel on Canada's infamous folk hero is back in a paperback edition with a new cover by Chester Brown. Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography is the book that launched the graphic novel medium in Canada. Brown received the Harvey Award for best writing and best graphic novel, and made several Best of the Year lists. Publishers Weekly hailed the book as a "contender for best graphic novel ever."

    Chester Brown reinvents the comic book medium to create a historical biography on Louis Riel. He crafts a compelling and meticulous retelling of the charismatic 19th-century Metis leader, regarded by some as a martyr and by others as a treacherous murderer. Canadian history at its best, Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography is entertaining and accessible for all ages.

    "If you love to read a gripping story, if you are awed by the talent of an artist, then look no further: Chester Brown's Louis Riel is comix history in the making, and with it, history never looked so good." -Globe and Mail

    Ages 14 and up

$19.95

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Monkey Beach
Author: Eden Robinson
Format: Paperback
  • Eden Robinson's first book, a collection of stories titled Traplines, earned high praise from critics: "Expertly rendered" (New York Times Book Review), and "Captured my attention and permeated my subconscious" (Toronto Globe and Mail). The book was named a New York Times Notable and won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize from the Royal Society of Literature.
    Robinson''s mastery is confirmed in Monkey Beach, the first full-length work of fiction by a Haisla writer and an unforgettable story set in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. This powerful novel reminds us that places, as much as people, have stories to tell.
    Five hundred miles north of Vancouver is Kitamaat, an Indian reservation in the homeland of the Haisla people. Growing up a tough, wild tomboy, swimming, fighting, and fishing in a remote village where the land slips into the green ocean on the edge of the world, Lisamarie has always been different. Visited by ghosts and shapeshifters, tormented by premonitions, she can''t escape the sense that something terrible is waiting for her. She recounts her enchanted yet scarred life as she journeys in her speedboat up the frigid waters of the Douglas Channel. She is searching for her brother, dead by drowning, and in her own way running as fast as she can toward danger.
    Circling her brother''s tragic death are the remarkable characters that make up her family: Lisamarie''s parents, struggling to join their Haisla heritage with Western ways; Uncle Mick, a Native rights activist and devoted Elvis fan; and the headstrong Ma-ma-oo (Haisla for "grandmother"), a guardian of tradition.
    Haunting, funny, and vividly poignant, Monkey Beach gives full scope to Robinson''s startling ability to make bedfellows of comedy and the dark underside of life. Informed as much by its lush living wilderness as by the humanity of its colorful characters, Monkey Beach is a profoundly moving story about childhood and the pain of growing older--a multilayered tale of family grief and redemption.

$21.00

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On Thin Ice
Author: Jamie Bastedo
Format: Paperback
  • Ashley Anowiak is in search of a murderous polar bear that may be real or mythical. The only thing for certain is that what she discovers will change her life - and her community's - forever.

    In spite of its name, no one in the tiny troubled hamlet of Nanurtalik "the place with polar bears" can remember seeing a polar bear in decades. But when a teenager's dismembered body is discovered on a nearby ice road, everyone fears polar bears have returned. The community is thrown into chaos as another suspected bear attack sparks a flury of bullets that whiz through the town during a blinding four-day blizzard. Was it a real or phantom bear? No one can say for sure.

    Ashley Anowiak is swept into this storm of confusion by her special link with polar bears expressed through the magic of her art and the terror of her dreams. She finds herself on the trail of Nanurluk, a giant bear that has haunted her people for thousands of years.

    Ashley's bear hunt leads from the frozen catacombs beneath Itkiqtuqjuaq to the jumbled ice fields covering the Arctic Ocean. As she closes in on the bear, Ashley's inner and outer worlds are torn apart, leaving her desperate for any stability she can find.

    This is the story of a gifted northern youth struggling to find her true home in a fast-changing arctic, where culture, climate and landscape seem to be crumbling all around her.

    Visit the website Jamie set up focused on polar bears in a climate of change at www.onthinice.ca.

$14.95

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Snow Apples
Author: Mary Razzell
Format: Paperback
  • While the rest of the world celebrates the end of World War II, sixteen-year-old Sheila Brary finds life in a remote British Columbia outpost suffocating and isolating. A household full of brothers, a philandering father, and, most of all, Sheila's demanding, embittered mother all stand in the way of a bright, beautiful teenager who dreams of continuing her schooling and becoming a nurse. The mother-daughter relationship at the heart of this haunting novel is both timeless and complex, and the two strong, rebellious women are more alike than they care to admit. One meets the demands of a sexist age with resentment and anger, while the other struggles to break away. In the end, Sheila defies her mother by pursuing a romance with a local carpenter. But when she becomes pregnant, she turns to her father for help, with devastating results.

$9.95

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Speak to the Earth
Author: William Bell
Format: Paperback
  • "EVERYTHING'S CHANGED...EVERYTHING'S GONE BAD."
    Fifteen-year-old Bryan Troupe is at first indifferent to the bitter dispute between loggers and "tree-huggers" that splits the community of Nootka harbour on Vancouver Island. But when a similar rift divides his own family and affects his relationship with his girlfriend, Bryan becomes relentlessly drawn into the centre of an environmental conflict that shatters his entire way of life.

$7.99

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Stoney Creek Woman
Author: Bridget Moran
Format: Paperback
  • The captivating story of Mary John (who passed away in 2004), a pioneering Carrier Native whose life on the Stoney Creek reserve in central BC is a capsule history of First Nations life from a unique woman's perspective.

    A mother of twelve, Mary endured much tragedy and heartbreak the pangs of racism, poverty, and the deaths of six children but lived her life with extraordinary grace and courage. Years after her death, she continues to be a positive role model for Aboriginals across Canada. In 1997 she received the Order of Canada. This edition of Stoney Creek Woman, one of Arsenal's all-time bestsellers, includes a new preface by author Bridget Moran, and new photographs.

    Shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

    Now in its 14th printing.

$19.95

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Traditional Territory: Spokane
Format: Paperback
  • In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

$20.99

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The Bean Trees: A Novel
Format: Paperback
  • Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.

$10.00

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